The Clarke Community School District is in the midst of finishing up some much-needed renovations and updates to the High School / Middle School campus as well as the Elementary School and Bus Barn locations. Because of restrictions on visitors due to COVID-19, much of the progress has gone unseen, so the staff and administration worked to provide a virtual video tour of the updates at all three locations.
Click below to watch Clarke Schools’ Virtual Tour:
Clarke’s Middle School / High School campus saw a tremendous build-out to accommodate additional students from 6th grade, previously housed at the elementary school. The northwest end of the middle school campus grew considerably with new, study-specific classrooms and a modern social and collaboration space. The old locker rooms for both boys and girls were completely demolished and updated with clean, open spaces and new showers.
“These updates have turned out extremely well,” said Jeff Sogard, Clarke Middle School Principal. “I think the kids will be really excited to see it.”
For the High School, a new “Maker Space” was created by utilizing the previously open, outdoor courtyard. With rooms on both the west and east sides of the space, teachers and students can gather to collaborate and extend their learning experiences from the classrooms to a more community-based environment. New boys and girls locker rooms were also built for the high school students to accommodate the district’s ever-growing classes and improve on outdated facilities.
Both High School and Middle School students will be able to take advantage of a new 6,600 square foot cafeteria. A big update over the previous accommodations the students had for lunches, this space will allow all classes to congregate for meals and breaks in a more spacious, functional area.
Changes at the Elementary School consist of a complete move and remodel of the main office to the Kossuth side of the building. There, the administrative offices and the nursing office are now located. Also added to the west / southwest side of the elementary building are the new preschool classrooms with three new preschool teachers.
The north side of the building, originally where the second grade classrooms were, has been remodeled to house new first grade and special education / resource rooms. And along the hallway heading east, students will find a completely new boys restroom, the new TAG classroom as well as a two new resource rooms.
Finally, the fountain area located just inside the circle drive entrance of the Elementary has been converted to a reading nook for student to gather and enjoy special reading time or stories from the staff. The fountain that was originally there was removed and the area will be re-dedicated in honor of Ann Norris.
Closing out the virtual tour, Ed Stoll, the new Transportation Director for Clarke Schools gives a quick overview of the new bus barn that was completed in September of 2019. This new facility gives the transportation team the space and amenities necessary to maintain Clarke busses and vehicles and to keep the kids safe while going to and from school and activities. “We couldn’t be more excited for these updates,” said Steve Seid, Clarke Schools Superintendent.
“With all that’s been going on with classes and scheduling it really gives the students something special to look forward to upon their return this week.”